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Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones (D-5) wanted to know if Schools Development Authority (SDA) CEO Lizette Delgado-Polanco, on the job for eight months, received any directive from the front office to try to scale back spending.
“No,” Delgado -Polanco told the assemblywoman.
“There weren’t any conversations? You could do the job as you saw fit?” the assemblywoman wanted to know.
“That is correct,” the CEO said.
The assembly Budget Committee chair, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29), stepped in at that point.
“Your department has seen a substantial increase,” she said, referring to the SDA’s $22.9 million budget, including an 11 percent proposed increase.
“As you know, this is an independent authority,” Delgado-Polanco said. “You need to understand this was an agency that was severely understaffed.”
She said she is budgeted for 287 positions and the authority employs 232 staffers.
When she started on the job, “I did what any other CEO would do,” she said.
Why did Delgado-Polanco terminate people, Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-22) wondered, and replace them with others, including family.
“They appear to have a clear connection to you, why were certain people hired?”
“This is a matter that is under review by counsel and I cannot comment on it,” Delgado-Polanco said.
There are people on the job at SDA making over six figure salaries.
“Clearly that’s over the average middle class salary,” Munoz said.